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a ship mounting twenty three-pounders. The Russian
Government viewed this naval activity in the interests of
Nadir Shah with open hostility, but Elton stayed on after
the assassination of his master until he was shot in a local
rebellion, in 1751. After his death the whole scheme
In the Persian Gulf, too, Nadir made a bid for sea-
power. He collected a fleet of twenty vessels manned by
Portuguese and Indians, which made the power of Persia
a reality instead of a shadow in those waters. He also
built a dockyard and at terrible cost in human suffering
transported timber right across Persia for the use of his
shipwrights. Here again, after assassination had removed
the master-mind, the Persian fleet ceased to exist, and only
a half-finished ship, referred to by later travellers, remained
to prove that a dockyard had once existed.
The Assassination of Nadir Shah, A.H. 1160 (1747).—
The kst years of the reign of Nadir Shah are described in
the partial  pages  of the  Jahangusha  as  exceeding in
barbarity all that has been recorded of the most blood-
thirsty  tyrants.     Wherever  he  passed  he constructed
pyramids of heads and drove the miserable remnant of his
subjects to inhabit caves and desert places.    There was an
almost  general rebellion against the tyrant    Ali  Kuli
Khan, his nephew, who had been deputed to reduce Sistan,
joined the Sistanis and proclaimed himself Shah, thereby
increasing the anarchy of the kingdom.    Among others,
the Kurds of Kuchan rebelled.   Nadir marched on Kuchan,
and in his camp, two farsakhs away, met his fate at the
hands of one of his own tribesmen.    There is no reason
to doubt that his assailants acted in self-preservation, having
heard that they were to be seized and put to death.    The
Shah's tents were pitched on a low mound,—which has
been pointed out to me,—and late at night Mohamed
Sakh Khan and Mohamed Kuli Khan Afshar entered
the royal enclosure.   After a search they discovered and
attacked Nadir, who died fighting.    Although surprised
in his sleep, he killed two of the assassins before Salah
Khan, the captain of the guard, struck him to the ground.
His Character.—The character of Nadir Shah is not